What’s in a seal? When shopping do you really need to look for awards? Seals? Endorsements? Shouldn’t a toy, or children’s product sell itself? Why do I need to look for awards or reviews or even The Parent Tested Parent Approved seal of approval? Why would a brand want or need to submit their toy to the scrutiny of the PTPA testing panel of parents across North America?
To answer this question I took a hard look at how I shop as a parent. From the moment I became a parent 11 years ago I was suddenly a savvier consumer than ever before. I was never more conscious of how important my choices were to the health of our whole family. I started seeking out consumer reviews. I scoured parenting magazines for recommendations and new products. I was more invested than ever in how I spent my money – our money. I wanted my family products and budget to last and I wanted to stretch every penny to make my spending worthwhile. At the same time I needed to know when I was buying goods and products and high chairs and cribs and baby toys and bottles, that they were safe. A brand new little human being was relying on me for everything. I took that responsibility seriously, as many parents do. Parenting made me a savvy consumer.
I evaluate all products now based on numerous criteria: Is this something we really need? Is it just a want? Is this something that will last? Is it safe? Is this the best price on this product? Is it going to fall apart three weeks from now? Where was it made? Does it have lasting power? Can my child use it and then pass it down to her sister? Can we play this as a family? Do we already have a similar toy?
When I started blogging three years ago, I attended some conferences and events and I began seeing the PTPA seal of approval several places. I started using the products with the seal and I found them to be superior quality to comparable products that didn’t carry the seal of approval. I started using things like Adult Essentials adult gummy vitamins and IronKids vitamins too. Liking the product and trusting the seal went hand in hand and those two factors combined made me brand loyal.
The PTPA seal is a time-saver for me as a parent and a shopper. Seeing the seal on a product triggers a little part of my brain that tells me: “Yes you can trust this product and it is safe and you don’t have to do all the regular consumer research on this item because a group of parents you trust has already put the product through its paces.” So, it saves me time and helps me make better choices with my family budget. That is invaluable to me.
So if you represent a brand or have invented a new product that is on the market, think about this in the context of your marketing efforts and business plan. What benefit is there to me as a brand submitting my product to the PTPA testing panel? Well thousands of parents who are both on line and in stores make their purchasing decisions smarter these days, especially in the current chronically challenging economy. Having your brand approved by PTPA means it has a leg up on the competition. It helps parents choose your game/toy/food product first. It gets your name into the houses of thousands of savvy parents and smart and it secures your place in a challenging market.
If your brand is approved, it ends up being highlighted here on the PTPA site. It’s great advertising for your product or brand. It gets blogged about, reviewed, tweeted, posted to Facebook and it’s instantly buzzworthy. There are thousands of parents on the PTPA site every day reading news and reviews and chatting about the latest and greatest events and products. Winning products are featured in a newsletter that arrives monthly in the inbox of every subscriber to the PTPA site. That’s golden. It’s the power of the PTPA seal and trust me, if you are a brand, you want the seal. It’s brandtastic.
How can you get involved?
1. Apply for the award online at www.ptpa.com
2. Engage with the PTPA community of testers on Facebook & Twitter
3. Participate in the PTPA weekly contests and social media parties
Disclosure: I am a PTPA insider and as such I receive compensation. My opinion is all my own.